Jacqui Szafran (middle), manager of Cassowary Coast Family Day Care.
When Jacqui registered their service with Be You, she was thinking about the holistic focus of the National Quality Standard and considering the links between physical and mental wellbeing for children and young people. She commented that much is discussed about childhood obesity and the benefits of physical activity but so much less is said about the benefits of physical activity and its links to positive mental health and wellbeing.
She was also looking from the perspective of mental health for adults, knowing the early years play such an important role in laying the foundations for positive mental health for life. A lack of positive promotion of mental health in the early years can affect adults adversely throughout life.
Mental health and wellbeing
Jacqui wanted the educators and the coordination unit staff to develop further skills in the area of mental health and wellbeing. Her vision was of a more holistic picture of the development of children and young people, with educators more skilled in promoting and supporting positive mental health. This was something she wanted to embed in the practice of all the educators in the family day care service, and she wanted a professional learning program to achieve this aim.
She was looking for a program to support them and the Be You framework provided what they were looking for. Be You Professional Learning was attractive as it offered a wide age range as the children attending the family day care service are aged from the early years to age 12 as they also care for children before and after school.
Jacqui was also looking for a program that supported educators. She commented on the importance of educators having the tools to assist them to improve their own psychological wellbeing. Educators are required to reflect on their programming on a daily basis, so it’s important they have the ability to reflect on their own wellbeing and are, therefore, in a better position to assist children and families to deal with theirs.
Be You Professional Learning
Having all the professional learning and resources in the one place for the age range they were catering for was also considered advantageous for this group of educators, and was part of the appeal of the Be You initiative.
It was also felt that the Be You website was a great resource they could refer parents to as a space to explore easily, with information and fact sheets available across the early years to 12 years age range. The ease of navigating the website allows parents to investigate at their own pace and in the areas of their specific interests.
The educational leader told Jacqui that, with the support of the Be You Consultant, commencing the Professional Learning was not difficult to implement. Educators are able to proceed with their professional learning at their own pace, and according to their individual needs and interests.
Cassowary Coast Family Day Care service is looking forward to growing a mentally healthy generation with Be You Professional Learning.